Reply To: Eric's Progress Diary


Hello again. And thanks again for the kind and helpful words! I hope one day to see if I can put to practice Donna’s book suggestion (among many other books I’ve read/listened-to over the years) without yet another “down-phase” knocking me down. To be like a ‘cracked gong’ unphased by either positive or negative external triggers sounds like a lovely dream. Oh, speaking of day, here’s today’s:



Hoo boy. Today’s storyline: woke up (first day off), big plans to cook work lunches for the week (but had huge amounts of dirty dishes I didn’t have time to get to throughout the work-week) and do week’s worth of laundry. Laundromat closes 2 hr after awakening. So rush-rush coffee in me, (brewed night before so it only took 5m to heat it up on stove and chug), rush-rush and caffeine equals massive plummet into “down-phase”.

I spent lots of time in between doing chores flipping out and typing many many paragraphs of crazed ramblings (it’s one of the main things I do when in a dark, terrible mood of the ‘manic’ kind) which I won’t copy-paste here so you don’t need to scroll past the emo incoherence.

One subject was literally begging and telling all my FB friends I’d be willing to pay to have people help me clean. Had an answer, gonna talk about it when they’re awake again.

Then finally calmed down by eating breakfast, chatting with said friend, followed by some pointless fun-posting, wondering if I should switch sleep schedule to wake up earlier (but that would leave it very difficult to go to doc visits without cutting into sleep, and my job periodically forces one to stay over 4 hours if we had too many call-offs which are the two major reasons I chose to wake up -> hurry up get ready for work -> have hours before bed rather than the other way around) so I’m not so rush-rush-rush before I’ve had a chance to breathe and chill in the morning which is a huge “down-phase” chain of triggers working against me.

The times it sucks when forced to stay over or having to stay up late to see a doctor (among other minor inconveniences) I’ll just have to bite the bullet. And sleep in those days; I was trying to be super rigid with circadian rhythm thanks to lifelong insomnia but now I’m going to try being more flexible to see if that can be used as a tiny stepping stone towards niramisa sukha.

Anyway, after deciding I’ll wait for tomorrow to batch-cook for the week (so as to avoid cooking every day; not enough time for that, I try to cook everything for work in 1 day then package them ready to grab, bag, and go) I just cooked one dinner, then broke the 3rd by continuing to eat too many more calories than my daily limit (binge-eating when sad [AKA what I tend to do when in a dark, terrible mood of the ‘depressive’ kind especially following a ‘manic’ phase] = bad bad habit, but at least it was only 300 calories of strawberries rather than 3000 calories of pizza/Chinese delivery like I used to) while watching hours of YouTube before my new bedtime. *fingers crossed I don’t spend hours tossing and turning then my alarm blaring at my new ~3hr earlier time after only 3-4 hours of sleep worrying about this, that, and the other.

What’s this have to do with Buddhism? Just to showcase how unstable my mind is, the difficulties I face in just being calm enough to even try to contemplate this and that while I go about living life while burdened with a mind that likes to go berserk over the littlest things and continues to stall and ruin any long-term goal whether it’s to learn a new language or to bodybuild or to begin walking the Eightfold Path (even the mundane one). Maybe next time I’m at the doc’s, I’ll ask to try a new medication in the hopes I find one that works longer than a couple weeks out of the months I’ve been on my current one?

Gotta do SOMETHING, as when The Bad Thoughts/Feelings are bouncing ’round my skull like ten-thousand deafening echoes in a vast cavern, absolutely nothing I try (other than “give up, give in” while I pile on yet another ten-thousand 4th precept violations inside my head which is reason #1 I’m convinced I’m going to Hell) seems to do anything but make everything worse. Like trying to smooth rough waters with a flat iron.